With the PTR coming up in a couple days, that means the next season is almost here. And with GoD being Haedrig’s Gift next season, obviously you’ll want as fast as a start to Level 70 as possible. Unfortunately, as everyone here knows, the first hurdle you’ll reach is getting to Level 14 so you can use Fan of Knives with LGF. As a solo player, it sometimes feels disheartening as you watch all of your friends reach Level 30 by the time you finally got there.
This mainly covers Hardcore, where HoA1 traps are not an option. If running Softcore, the traps will be the fastest approach to getting Chakram, which is the key to keeping a massacre bonus. Then you grab the cube. If you don’t like running the traps, you can use this, as it’s a fairly consistent leveling method.
Typically on season start, people will give two extremely terrible pieces of advice on how to start the season. The first is to kill a boss such as Zoltun Kulle or Maghda. The second is to grab the cube immediately. Please, DO NOT do the above, as they’ll do nothing but slow you down significantly. Some people will try to validate it with “But the yellows”… Trust me, the yellows are not worth it. At best, you might get 3-4, at the cost of adding minutes to your run. And the gear will be outdated in 3 minutes anyway.
Then the absolute time killer, and this will add 15+ minutes to your run, is to try grabbing the cube before you’re Level 12. The Elder Sanctum is an amazing spot for massacre bonuses. You don’t even need to know what a massacre bonus is, and you can’t help but get 2 levels in that zone at the beginning, while just speeding to the cube.
Start on Master Difficulty.
Take your scoundrel’s bow.
Craft 2 one handed Level 5 hand bows.
Buy vendor gear (gloves, chest, leggings).
Teleport to Ruins of Sescheron, and go right to Eternal Woods.
You’ll see people suggest Temple of the Firstborn or Halls of Agony, but those aren’t really good for the DH pre chakram. The experience isn’t that great, and there are too many enemies. More enemies equals a higher massacre bonus though, correct? Well, sure, but the problem is, you’re going to have a super slow attack speed, so the odds of being overwhelmed and killed are pretty high. On the other hand, Eternal Woods has the best XP per monster of any zone in the game. It’s twice that of Halls of Agony. So, we’re offsetting getting a huge massacre bonus with getting a smaller massacre bonus, but with vastly more experience per monster. Thus, an overall time savings.
Run Eternal Woods until Level 7+. This all depends on how good you are at keeping a massacre bonus. Remember to change over to the two one handed bows at Level 5, as this will buy attack speed. If at all possible, try to hold off on opening the Cursed Chest until you are equipped with them, as this will allow more kills, thus a higher massacre bonus.
At Level 7+, switch over to Campaign on Hard. Yes, Campaign.
Run the Campaign as quickly as you can until you have to face Mira. Don’t worry about monster kills. They’re not worth the experience.
Start the quest to kill Mira, Haedrig’s Wife. Kill her, but don’t turn in the quest.
Exit the game.
Set the difficulty to T6.
Resume the game.
Turn in the quest.
If you’re not Level 12 yet, repeat the quest. Exit the game, set to Normal/Hard, change the quest to A Shattered Crown. Kill Mira, exit game, set to T6, turn in. Repeat until Level 12.
At Level 10+, start checking the ring vendors for +dmg rings & amulets. The nice thing about the campaign is that the Act One ring vendor is right outside the spot you fight Mira. On every run to fight her, and every completion of the quest, I’ll quickly check to see if she has the jewelry. If not, buy it when you switch to Adventure Mode. A quick tip for the Act One ring vendor. Teleport to Weeping Hollow for quick access to the vendor.
At Level 12, craft a Level 12 bow, set the difficulty to Hard, and then run and grab the cube. Make sure you have Chakram equipped, and Tactical Advantage. Then, just grab the cube.
This should take anywhere from 20-25 minutes, at which point you’ll be Level 15-20, depending on the massacre bonus. If you want a comparison, check out any solo Demon Hunter 1-70 on YouTube. Unless they’re in SC starting with Traps, I’m willing to bet that this approach is faster.